Modernity, Technology and the Forms of Rationality



Modern societies are shaped to a significant extent by socially rational institutions, arrangements, and technologies. A purely functional understanding of these rationalized structures eliminates the element of meaning from social life. Ellul, Heidegger and the Frankfurt School focused on this impoverishment and associate it with the spread of technology. But recent technology studies offer a different perspective which can be joined to the formulation of the social critique in the writings of Herbert Marcuse.